WI: The newly arrived Jews in Palestine chose Arab as lingua franca?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Eivind, Jun 11, 2019 at 5:51 PM.

  1. Eivind Well-Known Member

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    The Zionist movement lead to an increase in Jewish immigration to Palestine beginning in the late 1800s. How plausible is it that Arab could have been chosen as lingua franca? The original Zionist movement was not particularly religious. An argument for choosing Arab as their language would be that it would make communication with the Arab population of Palestine easier. What effect would the choice of Arab as their language have on later development in Palestine? It seems likely that this would have had a positive influence on Arab-Jewish relationship, although the question is how much better? What do you think?
     
  2. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if it helps make Arab-Jewish relationships. Arabs would still see Jews as immigrants and are worried that they will steal their homes. If things are going similartly as in OTL to 1948 I can't see that Arabic would be seen as option if Arabs are still hostile aggressive towards them.
     
  3. manav95 Well-Known Member

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    Or they could have created a Hebrew-Arab pidgin instead. Hebrew had basically died out as an everyday language by the time the Zionist movement sprung up.
     
  4. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    Didn't Hebrew loaned much of words from Arab when in Biblical Hebrew wasn't all words what they would had needed? So perhaps there could be even more loan words from Arabic.
     
  5. Eivind Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand, in Israel today, Jews and Arabs go to different schools. Even if history up to the establishment of the state of Israel was relatively similar to OTL, a common language and common schools would help create more ties between the two ethnic groups, as they would come to know each other better, even though many would probably still have negative feelings toward the other group.
     
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  6. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    A group of 19th century Europeans (which is what the Jewish immigrants were) are never going to take up a non Euro language.
    Laughable to even think about it.
     
  7. Ameise Well-Known Member

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    You mean like Hebrew?
     
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  8. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    A dead language spoken by ancient heros has a lot more cachet than a live one spoken by those you deem inferior.
     
  9. Minchandre Well-Known Member

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    Secular and Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel also go to different schools, so I'm not sure this would help much. The Israeli school system thing is based on Ottoman traditions of pluralism, not a language thing.
     
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  10. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    The advantage of Hebrew is that the Hebrew alphabet is also used for Yiddish (and Ladino), so you don't have to learn a new alphabet along with a new language. Most Jews have some acquaintance with Hebrew from religious use, so transitioning from religious use (even limited) to full time use is easier even for non-religious scholars. Finally there is a deep connection between Hebrew and the Jews. Really no advantage to the Jews deciding to use Arabic, to the extent needed many Israelis have some competency in Arabic, after all they are relatively close linguistically. Interestingly an Israeli who speaks Hebrew as a first language will do better communicating with an Arabic speaker than the ultra-Orthodox who use Yiddish among themselves, a language which other than some borrow features is basically a Germanic language.
     
  11. Joshua Ben Ari Well-Known Member

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    Not very, sorry.

    Hebrew has been a liturgical language for centuries - millennia, even - and it holds an exceptionally special place in the hearts of Jews around the world. Yiddish and Ladino share the same alphabet as Hebrew (I'm learning Yiddish and Hebrew, and the thing that relaxes me is that I don't have to learn a brand new alphabet) and so it becomes easier for Yiddish-speakers and Ladino-speakers to read and speak Hebrew. Arabic is, fundamentally, a language that has no real connection for a large segment of Jews. That's not to say that Arabic-speaking and Judaeo-Arabic speaking Jews don't have a connection to the language, but that they use Hebrew as a liturgical language and so it's more influential to them.

    You might see a more intense effort to create a fundamentally bilingual society, like Canada and the French language, but all Jews adopting Arabic as a lingua franca is not possible. @sloreck hit the nail on the head in his assessment.
     
  12. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire

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    It could help them as to be a part of the region. But... it will not help their relationship with the Arabs much as they will still be considered as invaders. It would only help if they attempt a joint alliance vs the British... If that needs to be changed then a post-Ottoman joint front against British Rule may bring them together. A strict secular Palestinian-Israeli State.

    Or a communist State. Nothing that brings people (unwillingly) closer together than communism...
     
  13. Eivind Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn´t common schools create ties between at at least more Jews and Arabs than today? Would it have been possible to create a language that mixes elements of Hebrew and Palestinian Arab, with Hebrew letters? If they had classes together when they were children, it would be strange if this didn´t create more bonds between the two groups also when they became adults.
     
  14. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    There are lots of reasons to keep Hebrew and Arabic distinct, for religious reasons at a minimum.
     
  15. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire

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    It wouldn't be accepted easily. There is some possibility... If many Jews and Palestinian have a common ideology... for example socialism, cooperation will be easier. Otherwise the two groups will view each other as hostile invaders and undesired natives. Socialism or communism is also easier as it would promote secularism, damaging religious hostility. Many Christian Palestinians would not leave as well, remaining in Palestine, balancing things out. Having Arabic as Lingua France would help... But again, they have to have some things in common. And preferably, no massive Jewish migration to Palestine post 1930... Otherwise the Arabs will not suddenly be all accepting or the Jews be all sharing the lands. That is just impossible utopia...
     
  16. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire

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    Meh... not that the languages will get extinct. But creating a bond (whether it succeeds or fails) is something that should be tried. Otherwise you have two groups hating each other.
     
  17. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

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    It should be noted that a quite large number of Israelis speak/understand Arabic, particularly among the Mizrahim (Maghrebi and Sephardi Jews) and they are about 60% of the population.
    Most of my Israeli friends and colleagues are multilingual: Hebrew, English, Arabic.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 7:02 PM
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  18. BELFAST Irish Confederate

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    Many of the Jews who arrived for the Arab world after 1948 spoke Arabic.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sephardi_Jews
    It might make integration of the Sephardic Jews easier.

    Arabic as the national language, I think would not change relations with the Arab world.

    As others have said Arabic as a nation language is very improbable.

    English would have been a better choice, but I cannot see that happening.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 4:48 PM
  19. Joshua Ben Ari Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately a communist Israel isn't possible. Mapam (more democratic-socialist/Marxist) and Maki (out-and-out communist) never had a chance to form a government, and Maki itself had at most 7 seats in the Knesset.
     
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